New Ways to Fight Blight?


From the Flint Journal via Flint Expatriates:

Former Genesee County Treasurer Daniel Kildee is pushing for reforms to allow local governments to sue property owners who don’t take care of their homes- the proposed system would allow the Genesee County Landbank to recover costs of cleaning and fixing up homes, according to Flint Expatriates.

I’m curious to see if this idea goes further. A few years ago, when I was writing stories about vacant properties in Lorain, Ohio, Kildee’s Genesee County Landbank was often cited as a model other cities should copy.

Kildee is now the head of the Center for Community Progress.



Filed under Economic Development, Featured, Good Ideas, Real Estate, regionalism, Rust Belt Blogs, The Housing Crisis, The Media, U.S. Auto Industry, Urban Planning

4 responses to “New Ways to Fight Blight?

  1. Pete from Baltimore

    In Baltimore they are trying to pass a “Split Level Tax”. It would basiclly mean that if someone doesnt fix up a boarded up abandoned house within a year or so of buying it they would pay a higher tax than a house that was occupied.

    One major problem though is that two of the biggest abandoned property holders in Baltimore are

    1 Johns Hopkins Hospital They own acres and acres of abandoned houses.And since they are a non-profit they pay no property tax.


    2 The city of Baltimore itself

    In the 1980’s Baltimore had a “Dollar House Program” where they sold abandoned houses for a dollar to people who had to bring the house up to code and to live in the house for a set time[i think it was 5 years]. They also gave 1 percent loans to help people fix up the houses.

    Many of those houses were in Federal Hill neighborhood and even with the housing price slump are still worth about 300 to 500 thousand dollars now. It was a great program! So of course the City killed it.

  2. Pete from Baltimore

    Btw, that was my first comment to this blog . but i have been reading and enjoying this blog since i discovered it while lokking at the links at the Urbanophile Blog.

    Please keep up the excellent work on this blog. My hometown of Baltimore is an East Coast city. But it has a lot more in common with places like Cleveland and Detroit than it does with New York City.And i mean that as a compliment to both Cleveland and Baltimore. Both cities should be proud of their past and present, and should be hopefull about their future.That goes for all of the midwestern cities.

    Baltimore is basicly a city that used to be even more industrial than most midwestern cities[ i have read that we had the highest concentration of industry outside of New Jersy]. But we lost our industry and are still struggling to find new ways to survive.

    I read this blog to try to understand whats going on with our post industrial cities and to hear about new ideas.

    Thank you for posting so many good articles.


  3. Special K

    Thanks for the kind words, Pete. We’re glad to have you reading and commenting! Please keep us in the loop on what is going on in Baltimore.

  4. Theodore

    Great idea…more taxes…why do you think people are leaving the cities in the first place DUH.
    I say raze all buildings that have been abandoned…AND require owner-occupation of new structures…then WATCH OUT as building begins anew!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s